William was the second son of George Baskerville and Martha Minge and was a Revolutionary Officer, having been the Second Lieutenant of the first military company to go out from the county at the outbreak of war. He was in the Battle of Cowpens at South Carolina. This company was raised and commanded by Captain (afterwards General) Sam Hopkins, who was one of the first Justices appointed for Mecklenburg when it was formed into a county. Some time after reaching headquarters at Norfolk, Lieutenant Burton died and the rule of promotion in the army then being by seniority, the Commander of the Post, whose prerogative it was, appointed a second lieutenant from another company whose commission was of anterior date to Lieutenant Baskerville's, over the remonstrance and protest of the company, to succeed Lieutenant Burton, in consequence of which Lieutenant Baskerville resigned his commission in the army, but was thenceforth employed in the Commissary Department until the close of war.
On his return to Mecklenburg in 1784 he was appointed Deputy Clerk by John Brown (a Scotchman by birth and father of James Brown, Jr. , so long the popular and efficient Second Auditor of Virginia) who was the Clerk of the General Court of Virginia, which required his residence in Richmond. When he offered his resignation to "the Justices of the Court of Mecklenburg, " it was in these words, "I am willing to resign the clerkship of Mecklenburg County provided Mr. William Baskerville, whose qualifications and attention to business you are acquainted with, could be appointed to the office, upon which condition only you are to consider this letter as being my absolute resignation." Baskerville was appointed clerk.
In 1790 Mr. William Baskerville associated himself in a mercantile business with Mr. Alexander Boyd, (a Scotch gentleman of large capital and the founder of the family of this name in the county) at the Court House (now Boydton) and with Mr. Joseph Speed, doing a mercantile business at Old Store (now Lombardy Grove). Mr. Boyd died in 1801 leaving his entire estate (approximately 5,000 acres of land, several successful businesses: the tavern, mercantile store and plantation operations) to his widow and 10 surviving children. A son, Alexander Boyd, Jr., received the 480-acre tract that included the courthouse and the tavern. After his father's death, people living around the courthouse criticized Boyd Jr. for having a monopoly - "all competition in entertaining." Leading this fight against Boyd was William Baskerville. Other residents believed it was not in the best interest of the county to have the courthouse so closely affiliated with a tavern. In 1809, Baskerville, along with other residents, petitioned the General Assembly so "the said courtroom may be removed and the town may be established" on the Boyd's land. Though he believed the removal of the courthouse was a "wanton confiscation" of his property and caused him "a great loss of money", in 1811 Boyd, Jr. sold for $1, two acres of land to the county. That land is the site of the current courthouse in Mecklenburg County.
William Baskerville made his home at Waverly and lived there until he built Lombardy Grove and the old store. He married Mary Eaton of Warrenton, NC, daughter of Col. Thomas Eaton and raised 6 children. Baskerville was Clerk of Mecklenburg County until he died at 58.
This biography was complied from WPA Historical Survey, family letters from Lilian Gordon Baskerville Graham and SoVaNow. Bio is not by Louise Homan Keiser as shown on Find A Grave memorial and I am not able to remove the name.
Bio by: Louise Keiser, The Blithe Spirit
Mary Eaton Baskervill
1763–1842 (m. 1786)
From WPA survey 1937: The following vault stands about three feet high, built with double thickness of brick covered by a granite slab bearing this inscription:
This monument which covers the remains of William Baskervill late of Lombardy Grove and is erected by his three sons, Charles, George and William as a feeble testimony of their affection for him when living and veneration for his memory.
Born May 12, 1756
Died November 6, 1814
aged 56 years 5 months and 24 days.